Red Paint Hides A Multitude of Sins

Red TD

Under Car view

This has got to be one of my all time favorite shades of red, and I’m not a red paint guy.  It also has red upholstery and I have to admit I like that, too.

MG TD front suspension

Kingpin seal gone missing

Underneath the MG, well things were a little different.  We had already relined the brakes and replaced the brake pipes & hoses, taken the prodigious amount of wobble out of the brake pedal by the not so simple expedient of R&R clutch pedal shaft & bushings, replaced the broken front engine mount and shipped the fuel tank to B&R’s Garage in Lebanon, N.H. to dredge the bottom three inches of muck out of it.  We overhauled the carburetors, repaired the dashboard wiring & installed instrument lighting.  Ayuh, we thought we were about done.


TD front suspension

New shocks, but no trunnion seals

So maybe we should have looked a little closer at the reconditioned front shocks a little sooner, but that’s the new red paint effect.   It was with a great deal of anguish that we realized the upper trunnion seals, replacements seen here draped over the upper trunnion, were completely missing in action, as was the lower swivel pin seal (a.k.a. king pin seal)  from the thumbnail photo above.  The upper trunnion seals are easily replaceable when you’re changing the shock absorbers, so why not?   A strictly rhetorical question in this case, but to do the lower swivel pin seals the brake back plates have to come off.  Because these conditions were discovered in the process of refilling and bleeding off the brake hydraulic system, some small cotortions were necessary to R&R brake back plates without opening up the hydraulics again.  Our bad, I suppose, so we changed them all.

in Wray Schelin's shop

Wray Schelin, Butch Howe & Mark Goyette

If you tried calling us on Friday you might have  been puzzled as to why the shop phone was rolling over on to my cell.  That’s because a field trip had been declared earlier in the week, and Butch and I, chauffeured by Mark Goyette, traveled down to Stafford Springs, Connecticut to look in on Wray Schelin (access thru his  his webtile over on the right) to assess progress on my XK 140 OTS, a genuine California car with a few Eastern ski trips too many on the odometer.  Wray has attached the new sills to the frame and soon, the bulkhead as well.  Once that’s done then the rest of the rebodying ensues working from the bulkhead forward, and from the bulkhead back.

Much technical discussion ensued about topics such as tig vs. gas vs. wire feed welding, work hardening, annealing and the significance of the heat affected zone.  This is pretty heady stuff.  I snapped this picture over by the English wheel, and you can actually catch a glimpse of the XK 140 frame just behind Mark Goyette’s left elbow.  If you’re wondering, this was and will be a red car, about the same shade as the TD and I can live with that.

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